Majestic Manny the Jaguar arrived to begin his golden retirement years at Big Cat Rescue in 2017. There, he had everything he needed, with access to the best veterinary care, his own pool, and Jaguar cuisine. Although a wild cat through and through, he surely knew his keepers loved him in his Florida sanctuary.
Rescuers drove the then-11-year-old male in a Dodge van from the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska. Manny arrived with Nat, a stunning 16-year-old female Amur leopard, both retiring to their forever homes in Tampa, Florida. Both were born in cages, so they could never experience life in the wild, which is unfortunate. However, they enjoyed the next best thing thanks to so many caring people.
Here’s Manny, looking deceptively harmless and adorable with a pumpkin. But a Jaguar is one of the fiercest predators on Earth. They’re also one of the most spectacular in every way.
Video via BigCatRescue:
Images via Facebook/Big Cat Rescue
There have been rare Jaguar sightings in the United States, but no confirmed breeding population for 50 years. They used to live all over North America but now range from Mexico to Argentina. Unlike most cats, they love to swim and hunt in water. That’s why Manny got his own beautiful concrete pool with a waterfall to play in. He instantly loved it. And he certainly looked majestic posed at the top of the waterfall!
You can see Manny playing in his pool in the video below.
Manny was Majestic, Fierce, and Goofy
Manny quickly endeared himself to everyone with his majestic but playful antics. For one thing, he had a heart-shaped mark on his belly as the rescue pointed out.
Soon after the gorgeous cat arrived, his playful, goofy purrsonality emerged. He hoarded all his indestructible toys in his den, surrounding himself with them.
“Manny is such a funny cat. His first day here, he rounded up all the toys and took them inside the den, which totally cracked us up,” a sanctuary keeper wrote a day after his arrival on December 14.
The big cat also loved the treats they offered him, like tuna-flavored ‘sicles’ to lick in the warm Florida sunshine. He also loved playing with watermelons.
Although he was such a goofy cutie, don’t be fooled. As a jaguar, he could be “intense,” ferocious and strike like lightning when snacks were presented on a long stick. Jaguars have the strongest crushing bite force of any big cat, and Manny loved crunching some turkey drums!
But Manny was also a great catch, as his caretakers learned when they tried tossing him a snack. His lightning-fast reflexes allowed him to snatch anything from the air with ease. As you can see below, he also took out the camera in his enclosure in 2018.
Video via BigCatRescue:
Manny Crosses the Rainbow Bridge
In 2022, Manny required veterinary care and surgery after he stopped eating all of his food. A bowel obstruction was removed, but by age 16, he was diagnosed with intestinal cancer. In April 2023, he stopped eating, became blind, and struggled to breathe. It was with a heavy heart that rescuers shared news of his passing. It’s always heartbreaking to say farewell, but Manny had the best golden years thanks to these rescuers and all those who donated to help.
After a long fight, he was ready to pass on, and the skilled vets eased him across the rainbow bridge. He was just shy of his 17th birthday, May 10, 2023. Manny joined Nat the Amur Leopard, euthanized for bladder cancer on April 27, 2020, at age 19. Both had the best retirement years, thanks to thousands of caring people.
“We want to remember Manny as the strong, handsome majestic, silly boy we all knew and loved over the years. His presence will be missed. Please do not contact on-site staff or volunteers as they grieve the loss of our dear Manny,” Big Cat Rescue shared.
We send healing love and purrs to everyone who loved and cared for Manny the Majestic Jaguar. You can learn much more about his story on the sanctuary’s dedicated Manny page, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.
See facts about beautiful Jaguars like Manny via BigCatRescue: